Since August 8th, the Ministry of Health has made a multi-vaccination campaign for children and adolescentswith the aim of improving vaccination coverage rates in the country, which have been falling since 2016.
The target audience of the action are 11,572,563 children up to 4 years and 11 months, and the immunizing agent applied to all of them works against polio.
However, data from DataSUS (Department of Informatics of the Unified Health System) show that adherence is not encouraging.
On Friday (2), the state of Roraima reported that it is investigating a suspected case of polio. If confirmed, it would be the first in the country in over 30 years.
With one week to go until the end of the campaign, which will be on September 9, only 3,766,643 doses were applied, which represents 32.55% of the individuals able to be immunized.
It is worth remembering that the recommendation for this action is that 100% of the mentioned age group receive the dose of the polio vaccine.
“Polio vaccination is an indiscriminate campaign, independent of the vaccination card. Therefore, all children should be vaccinated”, explains epidemiologist Carla Domingues, who coordinated the PNI (National Immunization Program) until 2019.
Breaking down by age, the vaccination coverage rates are:
• Up to 1 year: 939,331 doses applied out of 2,730,050 expected — 34.41% coverage
• 2 years: 905,224 doses applied out of 2,954,887 expected — 30.63% coverage
• 3 years: 950,375 doses applied out of 2,969,319 expected — 32.01% coverage
• 4 years: 971,713 doses applied out of 2,918,307 expected — 33.30% coverage
Large vaccination campaigns are organized so that health agencies can update vaccination records for children and adolescents. A specific immunizer is used as a decoy, but all others applied by the SUS are available to the population.
“When we do a vaccination campaign, we seek to update the vaccination cards for all vaccine-preventable diseases”, guides the epidemiologist.
For the former coordinator of the PNI, the current vaccination campaign will not be able to achieve the objective of the Ministry of Health.
“I don’t believe we will have a successful campaign. If we can’t even bring 80% of children to the health centers to look at the vaccination record and apply the polio vaccine, how are we going to be able to recover the other vaccines?”
Carla Domingues credits the population’s lack of adherence to planning errors by the federal government and state and municipal governments.
“An effective campaign requires the training of health officials. The ministry is responsible for distribution and continuous advertising campaigns. The states take care of the planning and vaccination processes. And the municipalities keep an eye on the microdata, identifying the population that needs it. be vaccinated and what are the appropriate and differentiated strategies to carry out the active search according to the reality of each city.”
Until the 9th, including this weekend and the Independence holiday, next Wednesday (7th), many health centers will be open throughout the country so that parents or guardians take their children to update their vaccination cards and , thus, preventing the return of diseases such as measles, polio, whooping cough and several others.
Did Brazilians stop believing in vaccines?
Brazil is internationally recognized as a model country when it comes to vaccination coverage.
For the director of SBIm (Brazilian Society of Immunizations) and SBP (Brazilian Society of Pediatrics), Renato Kfouri, the population continues to trust immunizers and this was confirmed in the Covid-19 immunization rates.
“When we talk a lot about a disease or there are outbreaks, people want to vaccinate. As happened with Covid now, in the yellow fever and measles outbreaks three years ago. The problem is that the wave passes, the epidemic passes, everyone stops doing it. the vaccine routinely”, laments the pediatrician.
He sees the success of vaccines as one of the causes for the drop in rates.
“A common background to all places in Brazil is low risk perception. The very success that vaccines make, they eliminate diseases, and people no longer feel threatened. It’s just having a case of meningitis at school of a family, that everyone runs to the health centers to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, it is the perception of risk that moves us towards prevention.”
O R7 questioned the Ministry of Health about planned actions in order to encourage adherence to vaccination in recent days.
In a note, the folder said the following:
“The ministry closely monitors vaccine coverage and has worked to intensify the strategies needed to reverse the scenario of low coverage that has been perceived since 2016, and that during the pandemic period this scenario worsened. vaccination coverage in the country, the MS is currently working on the National Campaign for Vaccination against Polio and Multivaccination, with the objective of updating the vaccination booklet of children and adolescents under 15 years of age, unvaccinated or with incomplete vaccination schedules, with a special focus for polio which aims to vaccinate about 14.3 million children.
The Ministry also recommends that states, municipalities and the Federal District carry out an active search for immunization and reinforces the importance of maintaining routine vaccination actions. The dissemination of information on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines as a public health measure is also part of actions carried out throughout the year.
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